by Erin Salem
on Tuesday, May 15th, 2018 at 10:45am.
From Jody Caputo, Round Table Realty Realtor:
Three years ago, I had a beautiful two-story home listing, complete with a pool on an acre of land. I received a call from an older gentleman named George who wanted to see it. I met him at the house one morning and after walking through it, I felt prompted to ask him why. "I hope you don't mind me asking, but why would you want to buy this particular house? This is going to be a lot of maintenance for you." He smiled and asked me if I had time to sit and talk to him, so we pulled up chairs. This is where our friendship began.
"I debated for 3 solid days before calling the number on your sign. I really dislike Realtors because of past experiences with them. But my wife Judy, is the love of my life. She's in a home now because of Alzheimers. I visit her everyday hoping that she'll recognize me." He told me about their lifelong relationship; he obviously put her on a pedestal. Previously an engineer, he wanted to move out of their home and into a new one with no HOA so that he could have a shop out back and build things. He also wanted this home so that everything in his current home could look the same way in the new home, just as Judy would want it.
Listening to his story my eyes filled with tears. (His too, a few times.) We ended our conversation and I was determined to find him the perfect place, knowing this would be no easy task. We looked at many more homes. We checked on HOAs, neighborhood requirements, and city sanctions. We measured every room in every home to ensure everyting from the old house would fit. Finally, we found "The One." This house could perfectly replicate his current house (right down to the pictures hung on the walls) and Judy would most definitely approve.
The transaction was smooth and he moved in a few weeks later. He built an awesome workshop in the back yard and decorated the house to a T. A few times a year we still go to breakfast, and I still visit him in his new home. Each visit, we walk through the house as he points out the pictures of Judy and tells me their story once again. He even has a picture of her looking down at him in his workshop. Theirs is such a beautiful love story.
Sadly, Judy passed away a year ago. At the funeral, as I walked up the aisle for Communion, George stepped out of his seat. He hugged me saying, "I love you!" and I hugged him back, telling him I loved him, too. And during our most recent breakfast, he told me how I totally changed the way he felt about Realtors. I smiled and we agreed we are friends for life. When I was leaving, he motioned for me to roll my car window down. When I did, he came over with tears in his eyes and said, "Jody, next to my late wife, you are the greatest woman I have ever known!" Yes, I cried like a baby all the way home!
Although he gave me heck for the white rocking chair that "somehow" showed up on his front porch the day of closing (because that insinuated that he was "old"), that stinker tells me that he sits in it every afternoon while he has his ice cream. There are many things in life that money can't buy, and this story is one of them. Who knew that a simple phone call would turn out to be one of the biggest treasures in my life?
I am so thankful to have made a difference in his life because he sure has made such a difference in mine. Helping people to buy and sell homes is not always about getting the most for the least. In fact it is more often, for me, about building friendships with people who need someone to walk them through an incredibly personal process. I love my job, and I love helping people like George.